Tuesday Open Thread ~ The Ninth Wave


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“You never really know what's coming. A small wave, or maybe a big one. All you can do is hope that when it comes, you can surf over it, instead of drown in its monstrosity.”
~ Alysha Speer
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Taken from an old sailing expression, the ninth wave refers to a monster-like wave following a succession of incrementally larger ones. Depicted in literature as the Wave of Transformation, writers and poets have portrayed this transformation as both startling and serene. Alfred Lord Tennyson uses the sailing trope to describe King Arthur’s birth in a dramatic culmination of verse, while in Irish mythology, we are told Manannán mac Lir lives beyond the ninth wave in the ‘Otherworld Islands’ doing whatever it is Gods do in paradise after a great battle. Described as “a place of great beauty and eternal youth”, the world beyond the ninth wave sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind living in right about now. However, in both those examples, the hero has to survive the storm before he can transform himself. Here’s hoping us mere mortals will survive these uncertain times and finally reach calmer waters transformed into a better version of ourselves.

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The Coming of Arthur

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Idylls of the King ~ 1859-1885

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Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame:
And down the wave and in the flame was borne
A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet,
Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried, 'The King!
Here is an heir for Uther!' And the fringe
Of that great breaker, sweeping up the strand,
Lashed at the wizard as he spake the word,
And all at once all round him rose in fire,
So that the child and he were clothed in fire.
And presently thereafter followed calm,
Free sky and stars.
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Storm-Racked

Amy Lowell ~ 1874-1925

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How should I sing when buffeting salt waves
And stung with bitter surges, in whose might
I toss, a cockleshell? The dreadful night
Marshals its undefeated dark and raves
In brutal madness, reeling over graves
Of vanquished men, long-sunken out of sight,
Sent wailing down to glut the ghoulish sprite
Who haunts foul seaweed forests and their caves.
No parting cloud reveals a watery star,
My cries are washed away upon the wind,
My cramped and blistering hands can find no spar,
My eyes with hope o'erstrained, are growing blind.
But painted on the sky great visions burn,
My voice, oblation from a shattered urn!
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As fanciful notions go, imaging the moon as an iridescent jewel in the sky seemed a lot more wondrous to me as a child than thinking about it as it actually is. And yet, that large hunk of rock orbiting the earth has inspired some of the most beautiful music and assumed powers to arouse and embolden lovers the world over. Epitomizing that idea, “Song to the Moon” evokes the potent nature of love in an exquisitely poignant aria that is laced with such longing, you don’t need to know Czechoslovakian to understand its meaning. Composed by Antonín Dvorak in 1901 for an opera based on a fairy tale named Rusalka (think of The Little Mermaid, but a lot darker), the title character expresses her hope and her yearning by asking the moon to tell her Prince how much she loves him.

Of the many talented sopranos who have performed Song to the Moon, Lucia Popp’s interpretation of this aria is definitely one worth listening to. Powerful and sincere, she does things with this piece of music I have not heard others do.

“The timbre of her voice — honeyed, tender, sweet yet penetrating and almost painfully poignant — produces a sound so effortless and crystal-clear that it is almost childlike in its purity”.

A quality that mirrors the sentiment of this song so perfectly, it is magical listening to Popp make this piece her own. Even if you are not an admirer of opera, there is something about this aria that has the ability to deeply touch people in a very human way.

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Song to the Moon

Lucia Popp ~ 1939-1993

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Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition.
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What’s on your mind today?
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Great pictures Anja!
Thanks.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

How was the sailing on the lake?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz

It's about the only time I get the dinghy's bottom wet each year
so thoroughly enjoyed each moment, searching for loons...
the winds were quite favorable most days
Smile

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Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

Sounds like a lovely way to spend a weekend. Btw, I have tomorrow off if you have time to catch up. PM me and we can set a time.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Dawn's Meta's picture

range of topics is wonderful reading. Thank you so much.

As kids we sang with mom (sang soprano and played the upright grand) and dad (sang Baritone) on Saturday nights: Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, Rogers and Hammerstein, Harbach, and others. Such romantics: I was named for the Jeanette McDonald/Nelson Eddy musical.
Here's one for this theme:
https://youtu.be/uuKTCoMWrp0

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I always discover such interesting things about the members here. As inherited talents go, that’s an enviable one to have. Couldn’t access the video, I’m afraid. When I clicked into it, it said it was unavailable.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Anja Geitz Its on YouTube. Type 'Silver Moon' by Sigmund Romberg. It should show an album cover of Sigmund conducting. The duet is Warren Galjour & Lillian Cornell & Lawrence Brooks & Sigmund Romberg Orchestra
https://www.shazam.com/amp/track/48849668/romberg-my-maryland-silver-moon

See if that works.

Just a bit more: my dad's dad, was a cornet player and composer in big bands. They went bust in the Depression. Therefore my grandpa forbade his three sons from anything to do with the arts. My dad quit high school (with Ethel Merman in same PS) to help support the family. He got his revenge by becoming a horticulturist and painting with trees, plants and flowers. The younger two were always a bit lost. All three were gifted singers and went to the Met when able.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Dawn's Meta

the trauma of having no security or protection must’ve been a difficult lesson to learn for people like your Grandfather during that time. Interesting though that the need to be artistic still burned in your Father’s heart. Understandable.

I tried finding that song on YouTube but came up empty. Did find it on Spotify but I’m at work right now and can’t listen to it. So I queued it up to one of my playlists and will listen to it when I get home. Looking forward to it. Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lily O Lady's picture

TPTB can see is a mining opportunity. Well that and a strategic base of operations.

Thank you for reminding us of the beauty, aj.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lily O Lady

If there were resources up their own asses, they’d probably drill there too. Greed is weird that way.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

lotlizard's picture

@Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady  
and you know that when they say “the frontier” they’re thinking Wild West, gold rush, resource grabs, land free for the takin’ to any settler tough enough to tame it, etc., etc.

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Interesting history on the ninth wave lore.
Being exposed to the S. CA. surfer dudes in OC stories on seventh wave was all I knew about.
After living on the Pacific Coast beach for a number of years I never personally witnessed a truly discernable pattern.

here is a link to an interesting read attempting to explain these ocean wave functions with physics

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Anja Geitz's picture

@jbob

Thanks, that was an interesting link. Funny thing about science, was bored to tears learning about it in school, but now find it utterly fascinating!

How’s your cat Ringtail doing?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Lookout's picture

Been busy today...trade day, bank (ATM), grocery, and AM chores already. Of course there's more to do....always is!

Visited Glastonbury once where a fellow told the tale of Authur pulling the sword from the stone as a parable of making bronze. The claim is he is buried there at the old abbey...
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I like singing this one..."love is the seventh wave"...written by Sting

Well better wave goodbye and get back to it. Have a good one everyone!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Loved the song! Sting always surprises. As do you. Thanks for the smiles.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

"The Ninth Wave" and "rogue waves" on my mind. The former was a Russian Painting, but also a heavily promoted book I read in my youth. The name has stuck with me, the contents not so much.

Rogue waves I have seen and even experienced. They are not truly predictable, but the conditions for their formation have become known. They can be prodigious or merely surprising. One of the small ones I experienced is illustrative. I was going rock fishing along the coast, so I stood half-way up the slope and studied the area below for maybe 20 minutes, noting where the biggest waves reached, and picking a "bench" (geological, not man made) about a foot or two above the furthest reach to fish from, and another about 6 feet above that to use to stash my tackle box and such. About a half hour in, I found myself suddenly scrambling uphill from a wave out of nowhere that actually took my tackle box out to sea when it retreated. It was sudden and unique, because, after it had receded, everything was as before, except that I'd lost my tackle box and favorite pocket knife and was soaking wet. It turns out that these suckers are distantly related to rip tides and can arise when two sets of waves, or better yet, two series of sets of waves are arriving at or passing a point essentially perpendicular to each other and some harmonic reinforcement happens.

Thanks for making me think of those things, really and thanks for the pics, poetry, and even the aria.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

I just looked up rock fishing. And you know what I discovered? That it can be very dangerous! You’re lucky you didn’t get lost at sea instead of just your tackle box.

Here’s a link (can’t download the picture) of some rock fishing in Australia. Quite beautiful. Definitely see the appeal. But I noticed no one was wearing life vests.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/golfie88/7883299704/sizes/l/

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz

something highly similar. Check out Devil's Postpile.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

prophecy about this world-cycle ending in a great flood appear about to come true.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/australia-culture-blog/2014/aug/15/the-...

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Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

“I suppose I’ve been shaving some mornings and I’ve watched water coming out of the tap and I’ve thought it seems to be under control. What if I couldn’t turn it off, and no plumber could?” said Peter Weir in an interview published in 1979.

Thanks for link. I never saw Peter Weir’s films but of course I’ve heard of them. Especially “Picnic at Hanging Rock”, and if memory serves me, didn’t Amazon do a remake of that recently with Natalie Dormer?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

smiley7's picture

@Anja Geitz

Boo, and a tale to recall. Just love where threads lead sometimes, surprises daily.

Saw a clip of a non-mask wearing customer berating the staff at TJ's and thought of you. Hope you're missing those encounters.

Spent a few hours out in car driving to streams and walking a little looking for fishes, places without people, mostly. Really missing the physical therapy, muscles and breath power go down fast when sheltering; so, this is one way to motivate me to walk and tumble a little over boulders.

Sending moon-vibes for a wonderful evening.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

Without seeing the clip, I’m going to guess that’s from our North Hollywood store. I hear the encounter is pretty over the top awful. We’re luckier here in Pasadena where most people are complying with the mask wearing and most stores require it. Even the little kids here wear masks. Saw a little boy wearing a really cool Spider-Man one yesterday.

Although we did get one woman who came in here with out a mask. Her reason? Because our store where she lives didn’t ask her to wear a mask. A dubious claim on her part since all Trader Joe’s stores are following CDC protocols which recommend wearing masks. So either she’s lying, or the store where she lives is flagrantly out of compliance.

But thankfully that is as “contentious” as it’s gotten. People are selfish and childish. But when that happens, I try and think about the nice people I know when I see the not so nice people. Like for instance there is a disabled woman who is a regular customer at our store here who has been sewing masks for us using the most whimsical and off beat patterns. I now have a mask that has little chefs all over it and I love wearing it Smile

Thanks for stopping by and giving me a glimpse of your day. Glad you got out and enjoyed the beauty of the day, my friend.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Action packed day here making arrangements to move from my office to a temporary office, and hoping the phone co. will be able to switch me over, and provide internet asap.
2 nights ago, my sweetie played a Dvorak album as we sat outside on my porch, remarking the cicadas actually chimed in rhythmically, sounded like a part of the orchestra.
I am hammering on insurance adjusters, have already made decisions on new construction, etc...
I would be lost right now if not for sweetie lending me his support.
You take care, chica!!!

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@on the cusp

Got my fingers crossed that you get what you are asking for in the way of compensation.

Dvorak, eh? Your sweetie is full of surprises, isn’t he? Hope the two of you enjoyed the aria. Smile

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier